After Facebook finally took the big step to eventually piss some of its security-conscious users off by announcing the complete merging of WhatsApp and Facebook user’s data together, Elon Musk who had always been a loud critic of the company tweeted out “Use Signal” and ever since then, people have rushed to the privacy-focused and encrypted-messaging application, Signal.
However the influx of new users on the service has led to its downtime which the maker of the service made it known on Friday morning that the service was experiencing some technical difficulties while working hard behind the scene to fix the problem which was then resolved 24 hours later.
“Signal is back! Like an underdog going through a training montage, we’ve learned a lot since yesterday — and we did it together,” Signal said in a tweet. “Thanks to the millions of new Signal users around the world for your patience. Your capacity for understanding inspired us while we expanded capacity.”
The sudden surge in its user base is due to Elon Musk urging his followers on Twitter to drop Facebook’s WhatsApp for Signal over privacy issues which the social media giant had been accused of its unideal practices of mining its users’ data and selling them to advertisers.
The new changes that caused the outcry is that Facebook, the parent company now use WhatsApp users’ data for its own marketing and advertising purposes – a permission a user can only agree to as there is no alternative option.
Last week, WhatsApp published an FAQ aimed at clarifying its data collection policy, emphasizing that neither it nor Facebook can see users’ private messages or hear their calls. Following mounting privacy concerns, WhatsApp announced Friday that it would delay the rollout of its new policy by three months.
Signal had been growing in its number of daily downloads to 50,000 while Apptopia, a tracking firm confirmed the app had been downloaded almost 1.3 million times on Monday.
Signal warned that the outage might cause error messages to appear in chats but said it wouldn’t affect the chat’s security according to a tweet made by the company.
Signal is one of the security-focused instant messaging services out there competing with WhatsApp as well as Telegram which had also gained notoriety over its anonymity and privacy orientation.